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November 22, 2011

Wezen-Ball

A One-Man Game of Baseball on the ISS

by Larry Granillo

As we all wait for the BBWAA to announce their final award winner this afternoon - and as Dodgers fans sharpen their pitchforks for when Ryan Braun is named National League MVP over Matt Kemp (and vice versa) - here's a little bit of baseball fun coming out of Japan.

Aboard the International Space Station these past six months, Japanese astronaut and baseball fan Satoshi Furukawa recently found a little time to play the game on the station. With the cramped spaces, however, it could only be a game of one. Luckily, with the microgravity found the ISS, that wasn't as hard as you might think.


Here's Furukawa pitching the ball to himself.


As the ball floats towards the plate, Furukawa dives past it in order to make it there first.


Furukawa continues on his way to the plate as the ball sails along.


Having reached the plate, Furukawa gets into his batting stance as he waits for the pitch (spotlighted).


He swings! And the ball is blasted to rightfield!


But Furukawa is too quick, making the catch just in time!

The full video of Furukawa's two at-bats can be found here. Note, the page is in Japanese (and contains many, many plug-ins). Using the Google Chrome translation service, the video's caption says:

Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa are staying on the International Space Station (47) using the holiday, one tried to play baseball. Mr. Furukawa is a member it was in college baseball.

Those college skills really show! We may not yet know what exactly baseball would look like if played on the moon, but, thanks to Satoshi Furukawa, we know what it looks like played in space. We're one step closer.

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<< Previous Article
Internet Baseball Awar... (11/21)
<< Previous Column
Wezen-Ball: 1911's "Ba... (11/21)
Next Column >>
Wezen-Ball: The Muppet... (11/23)
Next Article >>
Prospectus Hit and Run... (11/22)

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